Churnet Valley Railway

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Churnet Valley Railway
Churnet Valley Railway, 1940s weekend.jpg
"Winston Churchill" at the 1940s weekend
Commercial operations
Name British Rail
Built by North Staffordshire Railway
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved operations
Owned by North Staffordshire Railway Society
Operated by North Staffordshire Railway Society
Stations 4
Length 10 12 miles (16.9 km)
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Commercial history
Opened 13 June 1849
Closed to passengers 4 January 1965
Closed 30 August 1988
Preservation history
1995 CVR Granted Light Railway Order, (7 miles (11 km) Leekbrook Junction-Oakamoor (Sand Sidings)section) of line purchased[1]
24 August 1996 CVR re-opens and runs its first trains
11 July 1998 CVR extended, Consall reached and re-opened
11 August 2001 CVR extended the second time, Kingsley & Froghall reached and re-opened
19 July 2003 Kingsley & Froghall (whose re-constructed station building - re-opens)
2004 Consall train station fully re-signalled
22 April 2005 Consall (whose, Up Platform re-opens)
21 September 2008 CVR extended the third time, Oakamoor Sand Sidings reached (though within limited use)
14 November 2010 CVR reconnects (via Moorland & City Railways LTD) to Cauldon Lowe branch
24 August 2011 Churnet Valley Line marks 15th anniversary of re-opening to the public
Headquarters Cheddleton
Churnet Valley Railway
Rudyard & Macclesfield
Trackbed breached by Supermarket
Leek
Birchall Tunnel (69 yards)
Cauldon Lowe Branch (MCR)
Stoke–Leek line (MCR)
Leekbrook Junction ( currently run-round loop only)
Tramway to Mental Asylum
Cheddleton Tunnel (531 yards)
Cheddleton
Consall
Kingsley and Froghall
Oakamoor Sand Sidings
Oakamoor tunnel (497 yards)
Oakamoor
Alton
Denstone
Trackbed breached by JCB Works
Ashbourne Line
Rocester
to Uttoxeter

The Churnet Valley Railway is a preserved standard gauge heritage railway to the east of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England.

The CVR has two main operational headquarters: Cheddleton station, where the motive power department is based and where the first trains ran, and Kingsley and Froghall station, where many passengers begin their journey.

The railway is 10 12 miles (16.9 km) long (from Ipstones via Leekbrook Junction to Oakamoor Sand Sidings), although trains operate occasionally over a further few miles to the stone quarries at Cauldon Lowe. This latter stretch of railway is owned by the 'Moorland & City Railways (MCR), a commercial venture which aims to run freight trains between Cauldon and the main national network at Stoke-on-Trent.

In the near future, the CVR also intends to operate trains along MCR track through to Alton Towers and Leek.

Early days[edit]

The North Staffordshire Railway Society was formed in the 1970s and bought the old goods yard at Cheddleton Station. Workshops were created there and the first locomotives arrived in 1977, although British Rail (BR) were still using the adjacent railway to move industrial sand from the quarry at Oakamoor.

British Rail ceased using the line in 1988 and the society began to arrange for the purchase of the stretch from Oakamoor to Leekbrook Junction.

The first trains ran over the preserved line between Cheddleton and Leekbrook Junction, a distance of roughly 1 mile (1.6 km), on 24 August 1996.[1]

The route[edit]

Kingsley and Froghall station is where many passengers begin their journey. Despite its name the station lies within Froghall village, Kingsley being a further mile away along the A52 road. At Froghall, a short walk away, is the canal wharf which is the site of some historic lime kilns.

From Kingsley & Froghall the railway passes the historic Thomas Bolton Copperworks factory (some of which is derelict with other parts still in use) and meanders through the forested valley, through Hazles Wood and Booth's Wood and on toward Consall. The station here is sandwiched between the Caldon Canal and the River Churnet.

There is a nature reserve nearby, whilst the Black Lion public house sits on a bank overlooking the railway, canal and river. This pub is unusual in that there are no public roads leading to it. Access is on foot via the canal towpath or the railway. Consall is now fully signalled and the passing loop allows two trains to run on special events and during high season.

Trains leaving Consall face a stiff gradient as they begin the section towards Cheddleton. Initially this section of railway too is heavily forested but after 12 mile (0.80 km) or so the trees fall away to reveal open farmland and moorland.

Trains pass the motive power depot as they arrive into Cheddleton station, where locomotives under repair may be glimpsed in the yard. An early start of around 6AM awaits the volunteers who light up the steam locomotives of a morning here. The Grade II listed Victorian station building at Cheddleton houses a small relics museum, toilets, ticket office and waiting room.

In July 2011 a new temporary catering facility was opened on the platform. A more permanent facility based on platform 2 was in the process of being funded by a public appeal with construction whom has since been completed in 2012. Continuing from Cheddleton, trains run past a local caravan park and through the 531-yard (486 m) tunnel (the fifth longest tunnel on a UK Heritage Railway within Preservation[citation needed]), emerging at Leekbrook Junction.

As the name suggests this was a junction serving railways from Stoke, Leek, Alton and the quarries at Cauldon. Today there is no platform and trains (though normally) terminate here. Passengers cannot alight here at present. On occasion trains continue through to Cauldon Lowe, using the recently reopened Moorland & City Railway line, a distance of some 8 miles (13 km) in length.

The CVR also owns the trackbed between Kingsley & Froghall and Oakamoor. The railway is in situ as far as the Oakamoor sand sidings, which once served the now disused quarry. A further short stretch through the tunnel here and into Oakamoor station requires relaying before trains can run to Oakamoor once again, although this is one of the medium-term objectives of both the CVR and MCR companies as part of the returning of trains to Oakamoor and to as far as Alton (for Alton Towers).

Signalling[edit]

Signal boxes[edit]

Each station (or station site) served by passengers has a signal box, although only one is fully operational:

Leek-Alton Towers section[edit]

  • Leek (Proposed) - Would require new signal box plus signalling on possible new site of new station in the future.
  • Leek Brook - Only original box standing on the line. Disused, awaiting funding. Internally all but the lever frame itself has been removed.
  • Cheddleton - North Staffordshire Railway box relocated in 1978 from Elton. This houses a lever frame which allows access between the "main line" and the bay platform/motive power depot but operationally is regarded as a ground (shunt) frame, no other operational signalling equipment being present.
  • Consall - The signal box originally came from Clifton, near Ashbourne and was stored for around 18 years in Cheddleton yard before moving to Consall in 2002. This is the only fully operational box on the railway, being commissioned in 2004 to allow two train running.
  • Kingsley and Froghall - Kingsley & Froghall never had a signal box at the station, the area instead having two boxes. One was located north of the station to control Bolton's sidings (an important industrial exchange site), the other being south of the station, controlling the junction to the small Froghall Wharf branch. In preservation, a platform box (from Rushton) has been installed NSR style on the down platform where it is used as an office. It has no other signalling equipment inside.
  • Oakamoor (Proposed) - Oakamoor would require a signal box as part of a possible extension to the station itself in which it would control signalling and safety at the station in the future.

Current operations[edit]

The railway mostly runs the "one train staff" system, Consall box spending most of its time "switched out". The railway is split into three sections: Leekbrook Junction-Consall; Consall-Kingsley & Froghall; and Kingsley & Froghall-Oakamoor. The last of these, not being used for passenger trains, is protected by a stop board south of passenger operations at Froghall. Most running days see the Leekbrook Junction-Consall and Consall-Kingsley & Froghall locked together with a single engine/train in service. On peak days they can be split, Consall box opened, and a simple two train service operated.

Plans & involvement with Moorland & City Railways[edit]

As the railway expands it is expected that more signalling will be installed. The company has proposed upgrading works to Cheddleton as part of a wider development scheme for that station.

Since November 2010, when the Moorland & City Railways reopened the section from Leekbrook Junction to the site of the quarry and former station at Caldon Lowe, trains have operated occasionally along this stretch of line, which has continuous steep gradients between Leekbrook and the summit at Ipstones.

Throughout 2011 the CVR operated steam trains along this section roughly once a month. It is hoped that the MCR will have restored the section between Leekbrook Junction and Stoke to running order by 2016, at which time the CVR may also operate steam trains along that line occasionally.

A third objective of the MCR is to restore the missing line of about 1 mile (1.6 km) between Leekbrook Junction and Leek market town, where the former station had long been demolished and the land redeveloped. A new station is to be built here, returning trains for the first time in decades to the town of Leek, where trains on the CVR could interchange with services on the to-be-resurrected Stoke–Leek route which might soon form part of the national network.

The MCR intends to operate a commuter service between Leek and Stoke, whilst the CVR will extend their regular services into Leek, instead of terminating at Leekbrook where there are no station facilities.

Finally, the MCR aims to operate passenger services from Stoke to Leek itself, especially (though for Excursion-Specials) on CVR tracks and into Alton, to connect with the busy tourist attraction at Alton Towers. This would require continued co-operation between both companies, upgrading the existing track between Froghall and Oakamoor sand sidings, returning rails through Oakamoor tunnel and into the station at Oakamoor itself, and negotiating an agreement for the use of the trackbed between Oakamoor and Alton (Towers), which is now used as a cyclepath.

The track bed is double track width, as the entire Churnet Valley line was built as double track, and it is expected that trains could be allowed to operate alongside the cycle path, as has been successfully (and safely) achieved on other heritage railways such as the Avon Valley Railway. The station at Alton remains entirely intact, although privately owned, and the CVR (including MCR) may operate into a new terminus of the route within the village itself.

Stations of the Churnet Valley route (including the MCR)[edit]

Leek-Alton Towers section[edit]

Steam in the Churnet Valley - Consall station
  • Leek
    • New built station few metres close to old site
    • 69 yard "Birchall Tunnel" close by
  • Leek Brook
    • No public access (station platform & grade two listed signal box, unrestored)
    • Run round loop
    • 531 yard "Cheddleton Tunnel" nearby
    • Rail connection to Moorland & City Railways
  • Cheddleton
    • Operational Headquarters
    • Original Victorian station building
    • North Staffordshire Railway museum
    • Refreshment room & booking office
    • Motive power depot & engine shed (open to public)
    • Carriage & wagon restoration workshops (closed to public)
    • "The Boat Inn" public house nearby
  • Consall
    • Sleepy rural station with period buildings & waiting room
    • "The Black Lion" public house nearby
  • Kingsley and Froghall
    • North Staffordshire style rebuilt station building
    • Award winning traditional tea rooms
    • Picnic area
    • "The Railway Inn" public house nearby

Beyond Froghall....

  • Oakamoor Sand Sidings
    • Limited passenger services (usually during selected special events) operated by DMUs approximately 4–6 days per year
    • No passenger facilities, (though a station platform "Oakamoor West" maybe constructed here as Phase 1 of the CVR's expansion towards Oakamoor itself and Alton Towers).
    • Particularly scenic section of line
    • 497 yard "Oakamoor Tunnel" close by

Future Extension

Leekbrook-Waterhouses section[edit]

  • Bradnop
    • 36 yard "Bradnop Tunnel" close by
  • Ipstones
    • Apesford (plus Level Crossing) close by
    • Ipstones Summit (also close by) at 1,063 ft above sea level
    • Current Terminus of the route, till' further notice!

Waterhouses

    • Future Terminus of the CVR (and branch section)

Awards[edit]

  • 2008 National Railway Heritage Awards, National Express East Coast Volunteers Award, awarded for the reconstruction of the Up platform and waiting shelter at Kingsley and Froghall. The project was joint first with the Great Central Railway.
  • 2005 National Railway Heritage Awards, Ian Allan Publishing Award, awarded for Consall station and signalling and Kingsley & Froghall station

Media coverage[edit]

  • In September 2012 the railway's Diesel Multiple Unit featured on Ashbourne Radio in a two part feature on DMU's and their wider impact when introduced to the UK's railways in the late 1950s. The coverage was also used to advertise the railway's diesel gala later that month.
  • In September 2011 the line featured in an episode of Countryfile. The railway's Diesel Multiple Unit was used for several interviews on the subject of the British "staycation effect". The programme featured several locations along the line, including Cheddleton & Consall stations and the demolished wire mills at Bolton's (Froghall) adjacent to the railway.

Past and ongoing projects[edit]

Endon "extension" 2011 – present[edit]

In January 2012 the railway announced they were involved in the restoration of a 4 miles (6.4 km) section of Moorland & City Railways' network from Leekbrook Junction to Endon station. 2011 had already seen vegetation clearance on the section to allow a comprehensive survey of the track to be undertaken. However 2012 saw extensive sleeper changing in bringing the route up to heritage railway standards. This is being be completed by Churnet Valley Railway volunteers, in partnership with Moorland & City Railways, and supported by contractors.[2]

Leekbrook Junction 2010 – present[edit]

The early activities of Moorland & City Railways (MCR) in the areas north and east of the CVR's terminus at Leekbrook Junction, triggered (or brought forward previous) redevelopment plans for the junction/station. The envisaged heritage operation of MCR's Cauldon Lowe branch would require additional infrastructure in the Leekbrook area. In 2010 the signal box (after years of neglect) received external restoration work to safeguard its future use, and the platform and area around the signal box was cleared of 20 years of vegetation. In 2011 A ground frame was also installed to control the turnouts around the signal box. November 2011 saw planning permission granted to the North Staffordshire Railway Company (the CVR's supporting organisation) to restore the signal box and station platform fully.[3] This, along with the permanent signalling of the area, form the future plans for the junction/station.

Cauldon Lowe "extension" 2010[edit]

Between May and November 2010, Churnet Valley Railway volunteers were involved in the restoration of the 8 miles (13 km) section of Moorland & City Railways' network from Leekbrook Junction to Cauldon Lowe. This included vegetation clearance and trackwork to bring the route up to heritage railway standards, supported by contractors. The project cumulated on 12 November 2010 when the line was officially reopened, although smaller works have been ongoing on the branch since (such as the reinstallation of a loop at Cauldon Lowe to facilitate the "running round" of locomotives.

Cheddleton down platform 2008 – present[edit]

A costly landslip immediately south of the station at Cheddleton has always prevented the installation of a passing loop and therefore the development of the original down platform (which cannot carry passenger trains as a result). However lack of space on the up platform had resulted in the catering facilities always being located on this otherwise unused side of the station, in the form of Portacabins.

In November 2008 an investigation was undertaken for the proposed relocation of Whitebridge Crossing cottage from its present location next to the West Coast main line at Stone to the down platform at Cheddleton. The cottage was to be used as a visitor centre incorporating a cafe, toilets and a museum, a direct replacement for the portacabins. It was proposed to dismantle the existing 200-year-old listed building and have it rebuilt at Cheddleton brick-by-brick with a basement to be incorporated into the proposals. Empty since the last crossing keeper left in 1998, the building has been left derelict and vandalised. Because of the building's current close proximity to the running line at Stone, it cannot be sold or put to any other use in its present location.[4] The portacabins located on the proposed site at Cheddleton were moved in early 2010 in anticipation for the move, and the ground cleared ready for the relocation works to start. However in 2011 increased costs resulted in the cancellation of the move, and a temporary tea room had to be constructed on the up platform to cover for the missing catering facilities. However negotiations continue with a future revival of the project not ruled out.

Meanwhile, a new catering building (to be built further south on the platform) was approved in 2011 and grant funding obtained. The building, due for construction in 2012, will incorporate catering facilities, toilets and storage and be in the style of the existing Consall station building.

The buildings on the down platform are part of a wider redevelopment "package" for the station area at Cheddleton, which includes (in its longer term aims) the reinstatement of original wooden crossing gates on the level crossing (remotely operated) and the installation of an original North Staffordshire Railway water column from Hanley. There are also aims to finally repair the landslip, install a passing loop and bring the down line/platform into full operation.

Kingsley & Froghall up platform 2007-2009[edit]

Kingsley and Froghall from the road overbridge in 2011 with the up platform at upper left

This project involved the reinstatement of the "up" direction platform at Kingsley & Froghall station, all passenger services having used the opposite (down) platform since the station reopened in 2001. The project became possible in early 2007 following a £10,000 grant for a heritage trail between Consall & Froghall supplemented with financial backing from the North Staffordshire Railway Company.[5] The rebuilding work began with the reinstatement of the section overhanging the river (about one third of the platforms length) which had been removed during the demolition of the original station. The other main part of the project was to rebuild the wooden waiting shelter, to the original 1849 design. The brick foundations had survived intact and were deemed to be in sufficiently good order to re-use, subject to some localised repairs. The wooden structure was fabricated off site to exact measurements and then assembled on the existing base.[5] and was completed in February 2008. 2008 also saw the wall between the shelter and the end of the platform rebuilt along with the fencing covering the remainder of the platform. Resurfacing of the platform followed along with several other smaller projects including the platform lighting and signage. Access was provided with a new foot crossing at the south of the platform (there never was a footbridge), replacing a previous foot crossing at the north end deemed unsuitable for reinstatement due to safety issues regarding visibility. The project was concluded in February 2009 when the platform was used by passengers for the first time during the railway’s steam gala. Whilst the platform is now officially open, the lack of signalling at Kingsley & Froghall restricts passenger trains to the down platform except for special events.

Kingsley & Froghall extension 1998-2001[edit]

Froghall station

Almost immediately after the opening of Consall station, attention turned to extending the railway’s operating line a further 2 miles (3.2 km) to Kingsley & Froghall station, an important commercial decision for the growth of the railway, as previously Cheddleton was the only public vehicular point of access, and the station and car park were limiting the number of visitors that the railway could accommodate. A share issue was launched in the summer of 2000 in order to raise funds. 2000 saw vegetation clearance completed along with much of the drainage and track work required to bring the track into passenger operating condition. 14 October 2000 saw "top & tailed" diesel hauled passenger specials, followed shortly after by a slight setback in November 2000 after severe flooding damaged at least three sections along the extension. The following year, 2001, other works for the extension were completed, notably the run round loop at Kingsley & Froghall station, as well as final tamping of the 2 miles (3.2 km) of plain track. The main down platform that was to be used for passengers, reduced to a grassy mound following demolition by BR, was also rebuilt. A car park and access to the adjacent A52 was also arranged. The extension was opened on 11 August 2001, extending the CVR’s passenger operations to 5 14 miles (8.4 km) and returning passenger services to Kingsley & Froghall after a 35-year gap.

Future extensions[edit]

The railway harbours a number of mid to long-term plans for expansion.

Northwards[edit]

The 69yd Birchall Tunnel, between Leekbrook Junction and Leek 53°05′19″N 2°01′44″W / 53.088486°N 2.028969°W / 53.088486; -2.028969

To the north, a short extension could return trains to the market town of Leek, although a new site would be required as the site of the old station is no longer accessible due to development over the years. Beyond Leek, a supermarket access road built on the original route makes further expansion towards Rudyard Lake and the main line at North Rode (near Macclesfield) financially improbable for the near future. The area of Leek where the remaining trackbed lies, Cornhill, is the site of a Cattle Market. The railway is known to be included in regeneration talks and plans being held by the council. Approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) of track would be required to link the cattle market site with the existing infrastructure in place at Leekbrook Junction. After the Froghall extension of 2001, the railway made it clear that the extension into Leek was the next priority in terms of physical expansion.

Southwards[edit]

The surviving building near Alton Towers

To the south, the line remains as far as the sand sidings at Oakamoor, after which there is a tunnel right before Oakamoor station is reached. The track to the sidings requires upgrading for passenger use, and work on the tunnel and the rebuilding of the station site would be necessary, although it is considered viable.

The railway owns the track as far as the sand sidings, the tunnel and the trackbed south being in the hands of the council.

A new station platform "Oakamoor West" maybe constructed here "at the site of the former sand sidings" - as Phase 1 of the CVR's long-term expansion towards Alton Towers) and "Oakamoor West" may remain until restoration on both the tunnel and former station site at Oakamoor itself are completely restored and operational again,

Continuing south, the next station after Oakamoor is Alton Towers, where the station building has been restored, although it is not owned by the railway. The prospect of running trains as far as Alton is lucrative given the tourist potential provided by the popular Alton Towers which is located nearby. This is something of a long-term prospect, however, especially as this section of track now forms part of National Route 54 of the National Cycle Network.

This 4 miles (6.4 km) section (from Froghall-Alton Towers) is in principle regarded as commercially viable to reopen, and has been stated as a longer term expansion aim of Moorland & City Railways.

The next station on the route south of Alton is Denstone, though no railway has any plans to extend this far. A JCB works makes expansion south to the mainline at Uttoxeter improbable without significant financial outlay.

Eastwards[edit]

The level crossing at Apesford (Cauldon Lowe Line) before the line was re-opened

East of Leekbrook Junction is the 8 miles (13 km) Cauldon Lowe line, which serves the quarries at Cauldon. It joined the line with a triangle, a single leg of which is still in situ. The line is part of the Moorland & City network (see separate section) and re-opened in a heritage capacity in November 2010. As the Churnet Valley Railway has certain running rights on the Moorland & City network, it is feasible that potential future services could use the line, however the line serves very little other than the quarries.

Westwards[edit]

A 1962 view of Bucknall, one of the several demolished stations on the 10 miles (16 km) line to Stoke

West of Leekbrook Junction is the 10 miles (16 km) Stoke-on-Trent line. The line is part of the Moorland & City network (see separate section) and is mothballed pending work to return it to a usable condition. As the Churnet Valley Railway has certain running rights on the Moorland & City network, it is feasible that potential future services could use the line.

Possible extension towards Stoke-on-Trent railway station, could see the Churnet Valley Railway interchange with commuter rail services on the West Coast Main Line as time, money and finances could allow.

Moorland and City Railways Ltd[edit]

A train on the Moorland and City line at Bradnop, on the first weekend of public operation

Moorland and City Railways is a commercial company set up by some of the directors of the Churnet Valley Railway with the aim of re-opening the line from Stoke-on-Trent to Cauldon Lowe. The company has already taken ownership of the entirety of the route with the exception of Leekbrook junction which is owned by the Churnet Valley Railway. The company has already begun work on the section from Leekbrook Junction to Cauldon Lowe which opened for a steam gala operated by the CVR on 13 November 2010.

Moorland and City plans to open additional sections to a new station outside Leek and to Alton which would serve the popular Alton Towers theme park. It would aim to operate service from Stoke (connecting with National Rail services) to Leek where services would reverse to travel either to Alton over the CVR or Cauldon Lowe.

The company will operate as a commercial profit-making venture using its own rolling stock. It has already agreed track access rights with the CVR which will provide a source of revenue for the CVR whilst the heritage railway will enjoy free access to all of the Moorland and City line.

The first non public service from the Churnet Valley Railway on to the Cauldon line left from Cheddleton station on 3 October 2010.

Locomotives[edit]

Steam locomotives[edit]

Number Type Livery Status Notes
1827 Beyer Peacock 0-4-0 Lined Black Operational On loan from the Foxfield Railway.
6046 S160 2-8-0 Unlined black Operational On loan to the Nene Valley Railway until January 2015.
69621 L77 0-6-2T Lined BR Black Operational On loan from the East Anglian Railway Museum.
2944 TKh 0-6-0 Green Under Overhaul Overhaul commenced July 2013. Arrived May 2013.
5197 S160 2-8-0 USA Black Under Overhaul 10 year overhaul commenced May 2013.
92134 9F 2-10-0 BR Black Under Overhaul Off Site Undergoing restoration at LNWR Crewe. Long-term project.
48173 8F 2-8-0 N/A Dismantled awaiting overhaul Long-term project. Restoration likely to commence after overhaul of 5197 is completed.

Former residents

Number Type Livery Status Notes
44422 4F 0-6-0 BR Black Awaiting Overhaul Built in 1927. Currently at Peak Rail.
68030 Hunslet 0-6-0 BR Black Operational Built in 1952. Currently at the Llangollen Railway.
80136 4MT 2-6-4T BR Lined Black Awaiting Overhaul Built in 1956. Currently at Crewe Heritage Centre.

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Number Name Type Livery Status Notes
Brightside Yorkshire Engine Company 0-4-0 Black Under Repair Currently dismantled for overhaul
6 Roger H. Bennett Yorkshire Engine Company "Janus" 0-6-0 NCB Blue Operational ~
D2334 Class 04 Green Under Repair Stopped at Sep 2012 diesel gala after failure
25322 Tamworth Castle Class 25 "Ice Cream Van" Blue Static Display built in 1967. Cosmetically restored in 2008
33021 Captain Charles Class 33 Blue Operational built in 1960. On loan from Tysley
33102 Sophie (Unofficial) Class 33 Blue Operational built in 1960. Launched Sep 2012 - restoration still being completed although the loco is now in service
37407 Class 37 Transrail Grey Stored ~
37424 Class 37 Transrail Grey Stored ~
47524 Class 47 Rail Express Systems Under restoration ~

Diesel Multiple Units[edit]

Number(s) Class Type Livery Status Notes
M50455/E59701/M50517 Class 104/Class 110 DMBS/TSL/DMCL Green Operational E59701 on loan from Wensleydale Railway
ADB977554 Class 104 DTCL Blue Stored Last used for demonstration Sandite trains in 2008
53437/M59137/M53494 Class 104 DMBS/TCL/DMCL NSE/Green/Blue Stored ~

Rolling stock[edit]

Coaching stock[edit]

Coaching Stock in use on passenger trains consists almost entirely of ex-BR Mark 1 vehicles, four or five being a typical rake. A 1966 built BR Mark 2 is also used, on loan from the Foxfield Steam Railway. These vehicles run in BR maroon livery which is historically correct for the railway’s 1950s/1960s image. Currently only one rake is required for normal services.

Two Mark 1 vehicles are also used for the railway's Moorlander dining services. One is an authentic Kitchen Car, the other being a Second Open converted into a dining coach. Both coaches have recently been overhauled and repainted (between November 2009 & March 2010) into Pullman Umber/Cream following a vandal attack in 2009.

Number Type Livery Notes
E4354 Tourist Second Open Maroon Restoration completed 1996
S4392 Tourist Second Open Maroon Restoration completed 1996
4779 Second Open Umber/Cream Used in dining train. Converted dining coach. Overhauled & Repainted 2009.
M5175 Mk2 Tourist Second Open Maroon On loan from Foxfield Steam Railway
E13236 First Open Maroon Restoration completed 2010 (converted from a Corridor First)
M35343 Brake Corridor Second Maroon Overhauled & Repainted 2007.
M35473 Brake Corridor Second Maroon Restoration completed 1996
80030 Restaurant Corridor Umber Used in dining train. Overhauled & Repainted 2010.
W86500 General Utility Van Crimson Restoration completed 2013

In addition, Mark 1 Corridor Composite, M16155 and LMS 6-wheel brake 32994 are currently under restoration.

Freight vehicles[edit]

Typically for a railway of this size, the CVR does not yet have a dedicated wagon restoration group, maintenance of a nucleus of essential vehicles being undertaken by the more established Coach Works. Operational wagons tend to be examples which have an essential function rather than historical importance alone.

Because of this, the operational fleet of freight vehicles is relatively small. They can be summarised as follows:

  • Rake of 4 Dogfish/Catfish ballast wagons used exclusively for track renewal.
  • "Demonstration Freight" set consisting of five 4 wheel vans, an open "tube" wagon, a four-wheel oil tanker & bogie bolster. All are in BR Bauxite livery except the tanker and bogie bolster which are black & grey respectively. The five vans in this rake have the dual purpose of being storage areas, and the bolster can carry large items on top. This rake is often complemented by a standard LMS Brake Van (also bauxite) which is, as of August 2013, the only fully operational brake van on the railway.
  • Several vans & well wagons exist around the railway, externally restored but not used in trains.

Restoration of wagons is done sporadically. The Coach Works directed its full resources towards eight wagons for a significant part of 2007, the majority of the vehicles which now form the demonstration freight set being restored during this period. The ballast rake was restored in 2001 and all other vehicles have been restored by individual owners at various times.

In April 2011, restoration work on brake van DB993707 started, this is, as of August 2013, the only wagon undergoing restoration work.

There are no particular times when any freight stock can be advertised as being in service, however the demonstration freight set sees occasional use during (some) galas, driver experience days and photographic charters.

Supporting groups on the CVR[edit]

  • BRCW Group (DMUs) [6]
  • Churnet Valley Model Railway Department [7]
  • Churnet Valley Railway Telecomms Department [8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°3′52″N 2°1′35″W / 53.06444°N 2.02639°W / 53.06444; -2.02639